Jan. 21, 2005 The territory's and the entire Caribbean's aspiring musicians now have a forum for exposing their creative abilities to the world.
Caribbean Shining Star, a vocal competition, has been created to showcase the talent of singers from all over the Caribbean islands, including Caribbean singers who live abroad.
The event is the brainchild of Dexter Chappelle, chairman of The Future Limited Inc., a multi-media entertainment company.
Chappelle said Thursday that he started the talent competition as a way of providing recording opportunities for Caribbean artists who have not always been able to get a fair share of the marketplace.
"I travel to the Caribbean a lot and notice there were a lot of talented people," Chappelle said, adding this is his way to help give recording deals to Caribbean artists.
Nine local competitions will be held, each on a different island in the Caribbean. Live auditions will take place on each island, including St. Thomas, where auditions began Monday.
The other islands where local competitions will be held are: Bahamas, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, Trinidad, Tobago and Cancun.
Jo-Ann Geffen, public relations officer for the event, said the local competitions are not limited to artists from that particular island.
"If they've missed the opportunities here in St. Thomas, for example, they can go to another island to audition and participate," Geffen said.
The winner from each local competition will then be brought to St. Thomas in June where they will have the opportunity to perform in front of a live audience for the final competition, which will be televised internationally. A panel of judges will critique the performances and select the winner
Besides owning the title of Caribbean Shining Star, the winner will receive a contract with a major recording company.
The event will begin with a kick-off concert at Lionel Roberts Stadium Jan. 28 featuring singer/songwriter Alicia Keys. Other guest artists include Wyclef Jean, Gerald Levert and Beenie Man.
According to the event's Web site, the concert is part of a "Caribbean Star Studded Weekend and Festival," from Jan. 28 30, which also includes a beach party and local talent competition.
Chappelle said due to about 4,000 calls that his company had received from interested individuals the audition deadline for St. Thomas was extended.
The local competition for St. Thomas will be held Jan. 30. at the Reichhold Center for the Arts. All tickets can be purchased through the Reichhold ticket booth. Tickets are $35 in advanced, $40 the day of the show, $150 for VIP and $200 for platinum.
For more information, visit the Caribbean Shining Star Web site at "caribbeanshiningstar.com" or contact local affiliate West Line Productions at 777-5804.
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